How “Corporate” Do You Like Your Social Media

Over the past several days I’ve been having conversations with my fellow Twitter-ers about the aspect of Corporate Social Media and its role in this new world of communications and brand extension. Many of them, as I, agree that the ease and accessibility of social media tools are making the conversations quicker, more direct and rewarding. But as soon as I started asking about corporate branding in social media, the conversations turned quite serious.

I asked a simple question to a select few that I thought would have the position and backgrounds to give honest, insightful answers.

“So, What’s your “position” on 3rd party twitterers? (i.e.- hiring someone to tweet & track on behalf of your company?) Ethical? No?

The responses (35 in all) received from that question were pretty clear. In no uncertain terms would “posing” or “positioning” in social media be accepted. Transparency is key.

Microblogging professional, Mike Templeton‘s (on Twitter as @miketempleton & @microblink) answer was indicative of the overall tone of the mini-survey.

“…people like to know who it is. If you say you work for them (liaison), that’s ok”

And another social media stud, Andy Brudtkuhl, (on Twitter as @abrudtkuhl & @48web) says that …as long as they maintain a consistent message… the ethics question should be a mute point.

So, with that, I want YOU to sound off. When you’re on FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter or any number of social media venues, do you expect real corporate/brand connections (i.e. – @Starbucks, or @TheHomeDepot) Are those actually Starbucks / Home Depot employees? Are they a marketing firm hired to “Brand” those companies into the social media stream? Heck, check out @DisneyWorld, @DisneyLand, and @Mickey_Mouse — I bet Walt and Mickey are curious about that, hum?

What is your position on Corporate Social Media? Are there issues that concern you about integrating brand (further) into our online conversations? How about ethics and transparency? Do companies have a greater responsibility for truth when utilizing these tools? More than Joe-surfer?

AND NOW, THE POLL RESULTS (poll ended 11/26/08):

Thank you all for taking part in the poll. Please check back for more!

Until next time…

Keep Cooking!
Andrew B. Clark
The Brand Chef